As the conflict in Yemen enters its third year, Yemen currently has the greatest level of humanitarian needs in the world; over 20 million people in Yemen require hu-manitarian assistance, 14.5 million lacking access to safe water and sanitation services, 17 million people are food insecure, and around two million people are dis-placed. On top of this, the fast spreading of cholera threatens to worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis day after day across Yemen.
As opposed to other areas in the country, the situation in the North-Amran governorate of Yemen is relatively calm. As a result of this, people seek refuge here and most of them are in need of humanitarian assistance. CARE International works to provide people with food, water and sanitation in Amran. A devoted team consist-ing of six members regularly spends up to two weeks at a time in the field to help the population.
Jalal Al-Ashmori is a 29-year old field officer with CARE internationalin Yemen. Since the conflict started, Jalal and his colleagues have been serving their community faithfully, despite the challenges and hardship involved.
Jalal is a father of two children, Rahaf (4-years old) and Hadil (2-years old). He describes us how it is to work in Amran during the conflict.
Amran is a mountainous area, and as we drive up the mountains the road becomes dangerous and narrow. That’s why, whenever we go to the field, we have to travel the day before. We usually leave in the morning and arrive by noon. My alarm goes off at 6.30 AM. I wake up, wash my face and get ready for another day serving the people. At 7.30 AM the volunteers who help in the food distribution arrive and we all have breakfast together before we split up in teams.
We are ready to start, armed with our registration lists and food for distribution. The teams are spread out between the registration table and the distribution unit. Once the word spreads that we are distributing relief supplies, the people in need of humanitarian assistance arrive in large numbers from the early morn-ing hours. They wait patiently for their turn.
This is usually our lunch time as people in Amran have lunch early and come back at 1:00. Sometimes, there is no time to have lunch. Many people come from oth-er villages in the area and we don’t want to make them wait since their journey back is hard.
A week ago, while we were in a village called Tulaya we found a nine-year old girl who was eating from the garbage. When we asked her if she and her parents were registered to receive assistance, she told us that her father passed away while they were fleeing from their house. Her mother is very sick. We went to visit her in their home to make sure that this little girl and her family receive the necessary assistance.
On a busy day, we finish around 6.00 pm. Usually we then sit and reflect together as a team, plan for and prepare the distribution lists with the names for the next day.
When the night is calm and quiet, I usually get ready to sleep. Unfortunately, some locations do not have mobile coverage and sometimes I cannot speak to my wife and children for days. As a father, I feel I am responsible to provide my children with a decent life. Serving my community and being a part of the process of helping the people most in need makes me feel in-credibly happy and grateful. I have promised myself to set a great example for my children.